When I was 22 years old, I got my first professional fundraising position. The philosophy of the organization was to hire new college grads who were smart, enthusiastic and cheap! Then, they basically threw us into a ton of job situations that we weren’t fully prepared for. It was a stressful, sink-or-swim situation and eventually was a major reasons why I left this job.
I’m so very grateful for the time I spent there.
Surprised? Don’t be. I would like to make a case for being deep in the job chaos. This is where you learn the most and grow both as a professional and a person. I planned a national convention, led a database conversion, started an internship program and I did all those things at the same time. When I left at age 24, I had gotten more experience than I would likely have in ten years at any other organization.
Embrace the job chaos.
Try to ride the wave and think of how much you’ll be prepared to put on your resume. You’ll have so many stories to reference in future job interviews. Use the wide range of experiences like a menu to decide which tasks you truly like and those that you don’t. Then you’ll know for sure what area you want to pursue with more depth in your next position.
Although it never seems like it at the time, the chaos is a gift. Take advantage of it.
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.